CHICAGO — The Illinois Supreme Court this week left intact a lower court ruling that keeps alive efforts to resurrect litigation that resulted in a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA Inc. in a case over the company’s marketing of “light” cigarettes.

The Supreme Court declined to hear Philip Morris’ appeal of a lower-court ruling. Originally, a Madison County judge in 2003 awarded plaintiffs $10.1 billion in compensatory and punitive damages in Price v. Phillip Morris, now part of Altria Group Inc., for misleading customers in marketing materials into believing that so-called light cigarettes were safer than regular ones.

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